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30 August 2014

60th Anniversary of Founding of Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries

China (2014)
3rd May, 2014. Shennan Road C., Shenzhen

The Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) is a national people’s organization engaged in people-to-people diplomacy of the People’s Republic of China. The aims of the Association are to enhance people’s friendship, further international cooperation, safeguard world peace and promote common development. On behalf of the Chinese people, it makes friends and deepens friendship in the international community and various countries around the world, lays and expands the social basis of friendly relations between China and other countries, and works for the cause of human progress and solidarity. It implements China’s independent foreign policy of peace, observing the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, while carrying out all-directional, multi-level and broad-area people-to-people friendship work to serve the great cause of China’s peaceful development and reunification and contribute to the building of a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity. In launching its activities, it has support from the government and assistance from all sectors of the society. It has set up 46 China-regional or China-national friendship organizations and established relationship of friendly cooperation with nearly 500 nongovernment organizations and institutions in 157 countries.

23 August 2014

European Green Woodpecker

Pictorial postmark : European Green Woodpecker (綠啄木鳥)
Postmark : Germany (2014)
4th May, 2014. Rohr

European Green Woodpecker is a member of the woodpecker family Picidae. There are four subspecies and it occurs in most parts of Europe and in western Asia. All have green upperparts, paler yellowish underparts, a red crown and moustachial stripe which has a red centre in males but is all black in females. It spends much of its time feeding on ants on the ground and does not often 'drum' on trees like other woodpecker species. It is a shy bird but usually draws attention with its loud calls. A nest hole is excavated in a tree; four to six eggs are laid which hatch after 19–20 days.

16 August 2014

British dinosaurs

Ornithocheirus (鳥掌翼龍) ; Dimorphodon (雙型齒翼龍)
Great Britain (2013)
13th May, 2014. Cardiff

Over the past 200 years the fossilised remains of the skeletons of the dinosaurs featured in this issue have been found in the UK, mostly in southern Britain – hence they are ‘British’ dinosaurs. The lightweight Ornithocheirus flew mostly by soaring and gliding on its long, narrow wings. It fed by skimming the sea surface and catching fish with its long, slender jaws fringed with sharp, outwardly pointing, interlocking teeth. The two different sizes of teeth in the jaws of Dimorphodon suggest that it was piscivorous (a fish-eater). It had a large, puffin-shaped skull, with big side openings supported by thin, bony struts to save weight.

9 August 2014

Songbirds of the Greek Countryside

From left to right :
Nightingale (夜鶯) ; Greenfinch (金翅雀)
Eurasian Siskin (黃雀)
Greece (2014)
20th March, 2014. Athens

Compared to other European countries, Greece has a particularly rich birdlife. The most populous group are the Passeriformes with a total of 179 species. The best known of those are the bird species known as songbirds. The 5 species of songbirds this commemorative series of stamps captures are the cinnamon-coloured Nightingale with its warbling song, the small-bodied Linnet with its whistle-like song, the well-known and impressive European Goldfinch with its characteristic chirps, the yellow and black Siskin with its warbling melody and the European Greenfinch with its elaborate and long-drawn out song.

Goldfinch (紅額金翅雀)
Greece (2014)
20th March, 2014. Athens

2 August 2014

Rare Birds of Henderson

$4,40 : Henderson Lorikeet (施氏吸蜜鸚鵡)
$2,10 : Henderson Reed Warbler (亨島葦鶯)
Pitcairn Islands (2011)
20th July, 2011. Pitcairn Islands

Henderson Island is part of the Pitcairn Group and was designated a World Heritage site in 1993. Renown for having the largest pristine raised coral atoll in the world and an ecology that has remained intact from human activity, Henderson Island is in trouble. With four endemic bird species, eight snails and nine plants found nowhere else in the world, Henderson is also home to marine turtles and twelve different seabird species, including four types of petrel.

It is the plight of the petrel that has captured the attention of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and they have initiated the Henderson Island Restoration Project which involves the planned eradication of introduced rats that are driving the Henderson petrel towards extinction. Over 95% of petrel chicks on Henderson are killed by rats within one week of hatching - over 25,000 chicks every year. These rats are also competing with the other land birds and therefore may be limiting their populations.

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